This week I was training a group of project professionals on leadership in projects. In preparation of that training-day I remembered Pikes Fish Place in Seattle. To me that is such an amazing inspirational story about a business-in-trouble that re-invented itself. Leadership by Inspiration is a key element. I’d love to share it with you. McGraw-Hill made a revealing video about it which I happily share in this blog, see the link below. What does this case make special? To me there are a couple of aspects.
Have a choice and take responsibility
At first, everyone has a choice. The owner managed to turn around cooperation and management that all participants (employees) chose to be there and take full responsibility for their performance, their behaviour and their learning. He shares his responsibility with them. He consults them, gives them a lot of responsibility, stimulates them to have fun and provides opportunities to them to develop themselves in directions they want.
Secondly, they set a clear shared intention: “we want to be worldfamous”. “We are not selling fish, we are selling an experience which adds something to others’ lives. Our influence can be just tiny, but we want to make a difference to others lives”.
In cooperation they are focussed on coaching each other, which means at least one person is prepared to invest in someone else and another one is prepared to accept, listen and try. Every individual is developing his leadership and coaching skills in this way. Amazing.
How to treat customers?
Obviously, the workers are loud voiced and attract attention with throwing fish and making fun with customers. More importantly, they are close to the customers: always a number of Pike-helpers are in front of the counter, close and at the side of their customers to advise and help them to make the right choices, even advising them how to clean, cook, bake or heat the fish in the oven.
Have a look at the video yourself.
About the Saturday training I can report. Though 22 project managers had had a full and stressful week, some of them even working in evenings and looking tired, they put all their effort and energy in to analyse this case resulting in steaming awesome presentations. Thank you Guys, great fun and you are an inspiration!!